Weeks 5-6

Unfortunately, I caught Covid last week. I was starting to think maybe I was immune because I’d made it all the way to July 2022, double vaccinated and boosted, and hadn’t gotten Covid once despite my mom having it over Christmas. I was hoping the symptoms wouldn’t be too bad being vaccinated and boosted, but I spent most of last week in bed. This week I’m feeling a bit better in that I can sit up at my desk comfortably for more than an hour at a time. Thankfully, being remote, I can continue my work from home while quarantined. However, the body aches and splitting headaches make it a bit harder to focus; thankfully, my team has been super understanding and kind.

This week I’ve been continuing my research. I’ve been focusing on ensuring that any possible avenues I’m finding for Afghan refugees in Europe offer permanent solutions since a few countries seemingly provide safe routes for Afghan refugees but may not be reliable. For example, a country may give the possibility of two-year-long residency permits based on refugee status. These residency permits are to be reassessed at the end of the two years to see if the refugee status still applies. Despite having a uniform definition of a refugee from the 1951 Refugee Convention, each UN country can decide for themselves whether or not someone “has a well-founded fear” of persecution in their country. This may mean that a country could decide in two years that an Afghan refugee no longer has a well-founded fear of persecution, even though there are those Afghan refugees who would undoubtedly be at immediate risk if they ever re-entered the country. We’re looking for places where Afghan refugees can resettle permanently, so I’m making sure to focus on that and flag certain avenues for Afghan refugees that may be questionable in terms of the permanence of that refuge.  

My supervisor also let me know I could have a byline published on the ABA website. He gave me free rein to write about anything that interests me (within reason, of course). I think I will likely write about the refugee crisis in Europe and how some countries have programs that blatantly favor certain groups of refugees over Afghan refugees. 

I hope to feel better by next week so I can fully focus on my research and writing assignments!